Wednesday, March 29, 2006

10 reasons i love britax

I have a dream to become a Child Passenger Safety Expert. I love learning about this, especially about carseats. I spend a lot of time researching and reading about them and take pride in knowing how to install and use carseats correctly. Did you know that 80-95% of carseats are used incorrectly? Even a properly installed carseat won't work if the child isn't in the seat correctly. Also, a child who is in a seat correctly won't be fully protected if the carseat isn't installed correctly. I am passionate about my children being as safe as possible. I pay attention to carseats. I pay attention to how people use them, how children are harnessed in them, and to how the carseats work. I'm often saddened at what I see, but that's a whole other blog. Today's blog is inspired by two carseats that I installed in my van today. The more experience I have with carseats the more I love Britax. Along with pictures for your viewing pleasure, I'll tell you why. (Yes, I went out and took pictures...don't laugh at me. I'm on my favorite soapbox.)

1. Britax harness straps don't get twisty or scrunchy like these other seats:

I have owned a Britax Roundabout for over three years. The straps are still perfectly straight and not scrunchy:

This is our other Britax, a Marathon that we've owned for less than a year. You really can't tell that the Roundabout is any older:

2. Britax seats come in cool and funky colors and patterns. You'll have to ask the Assitant Gardener why our colors are very tame and unfunky.

3. Britax are so easy to install. I've installed a lot of seats and Britax are easiest by far.

4. Many Britax seats have True Side Impact Protection.

5. The Companion infant seat has a higher weight and length limit than other infant seats. This made a difference of over 6 months of usage for us!

6. The Companion infant seat has an anti-rebound bar.

7. Britax seats can be tethered rear-facing. Other seats can't and are much harder to install and stabilize rear-facing.

Yes, Fat Girl is still rear-facing at 17 months and over 25 pounds. Children should stay rear-facing for as long as possible.

8. Britax seats allow children to be in a 5-point harness up to 80 pounds!

9. Britax seats have convenient belt holders that hold the straps aside for boarding.

10. Britax seats exceed US Safety Standards.

I love Britax!

what does it all mean?

Talking to Little Boy can sometimes be like "Who's on First." We talk in circles and go nowhere sometimes. Take this morning for example:

Little Boy mumbles something as he comes into my room at 6:30.
Me: What did you say?
LB: What?
Me: What did you say?
LB: Excuse me.
Me: No, not what DO you say, what DID you say?
LB: What?
Me: You said something, what was it?
LB: What did I say?
Me: That's what I want to know!
LB: I don't know.

I still don't know what he said. It must not have been very important.

Little Boy is very into signs. He wants to know what every sign says and what it means. He understands STOP signs and that the yellow sign with the picture of the see-saw on it means that a park is coming. Some signs take some explanation---like the orange signs telling us not to dig there because there are buried cables, and signs that say NO PARKING. Why can you park on the street in some places, but not others? Little Boy wants to know. I don't know, Little Boy, I just follow the signs.

Other signs Little Boy interprets for himself. At the park there is a sign that has a dog and there is a little pile of doggie doo behind the dog. The picture has a circle with a slash (you know--the "no" sign. Is there a name for one of those?) He asked me what that one meant and I told him "It says you should keep your dog on a leash at the park." "No!" said Little Boy. "It means no pooping at the park." That would actually make more sense given the poop in the picture. The hot water heater in our garage has this sticker affixed to it:

Little Boy asked what it meant. Before I could figure out how to explain it well, he said "I know! It means don't put fire on people." Good thinking, Little Boy. Don't say you didn't learn anything useful when you were three.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

all is right with the world

My widowed squirrel has found a new friend! They look positively giddy as they chase each other around the tree trunks. Ah, young love.

Monday, March 13, 2006

warning: contents may explode

I have pillow issues. If I take off a pillowcase and see any discoloration I get a little queasy. Pillows are just stuffed germ carriers. I can get over this as long as the pillow doesn't look icky. Maybe we drool more than average people, but our pillows get yellow spots of wierdness on them and then I have to buy new pillows. Occasionally I'll wash them, but mostly I just throw them away and buy new ones because the sack o' lumpiness that comes out of the wash is not even recognizable as the pillow that went in.

I had a pillow that needed to be dealt with. Wash it or throw it away? The pillow was fairly new and still had plenty of use left, so I decided that a trip to the washer would be okay. I read the tag. "Machine Wash warm on gentle cycle. Dry on low heat. For best results, wash two or three pillows simultaneously for balance." Okay, I can do that. I found another pillow and threw that one in too. Anticipating nice clean smelling and maybe slightly lumpy pillows, I opened the washer. Apparently there was a mixup at the pillow making factory. The tag should have read "Warning: Contents May Explode. Wash at Your Own Risk." Stuffing everywhere. The pillow that didn't fully explode looked as if it had been used as a shield in an acid fight.

Moral of the story: Don't believe everything you read. Oh, and don't wash pillows.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

i can't help it

I like to brag about my kids. I can't help it---they are just great kids and they make me very proud. Starring in today's shameless brag: Little Boy.

Yesterday, I was exhausted beyond belief and I needed a nap. I put Fat Girl down for her nap and told Little Boy that I was going to sleep for a little while. He said "Good Night Mom!" and went on with his playing. I could hear him occasionally while I was resting, but he just stayed in the family room and played with his toys. At one point, I heard Little Boy say to himself "Oh no! Now what am I going to do!?" I'm not sure what happened, but whatever it was he took care of it himself. I stayed in bed for an hour until Fat Girl rudely woke me up. I felt much better and thanked Little Boy profusely for allowing me to take a break.

Of course, an hour of no mommy around meant a big mess. The bed pillows and every throw pillow in the house were piled on the couch (oops, I mean airplane), stuffed animals were on the airplane in the middle of a cross country flight, toys were strewn from the bedroom to the family room and back again. I announced to Little Boy "Time to Clean up!" He half-heartedly started picking up a few thing. Then I told him that friends were coming over, but only if he helped clean up. I went on to vacuum up the popcorn that I had let Fat Girl throw all over the dining area and cleaned up the kitchen. Little Boy cleaned up the family room and as I was praising him for doing such a great job and even putting the pillows back on the couches correctly, he told me that he cleaned up his room too. This is what I found when I went to his room:

Isn't it amazing what a little motivation will do?

Did I mention that he's only 3?

Monday, March 06, 2006

and then there was one

I'm not an animal lover. I don't leave anti-freeze out for the neighbor's cats or lay in wait with my BB Gun waiting for an unsuspecting small animal, but I'm not an animal lover. They're just okay. The squirrels in my back yard, though, are another story. I love these little guys. Since we moved in this house, there have been two little (actually they are quite big for squirrels) hanging out in my backyard.

They chase each other up the tree, they chase each other down the tree. They chase each other on the fence and across the yard. They just generally play all day. My kids love to watch them. A couple of times, they got up right next to our kitchen window and peered in at us. They are friendly little guys.

A few days ago, we were backing out of our driveway and saw one of our little squirrel friends laying at the end of our driveway in the street---dead as a door nail. Little Boy asked what he was doing. "Um...I think he's taking a rest" you know, the long eternal kind? Looking back I should have said "He didn't listen to his mommy and went into the street and got hit by a car." That would have been a good teaching moment, even if it was rather morbid.

The lone squirrel runs around by himself now and it breaks my non-animal-loving heart. He looks so lonely running around that tree with nobody to chase him. I'm just holding out hope that my little squirrel friend will mourn quickly and find another friend to move into the yard. I can't take the sadness much longer.